Is it all over for the Audi R8? Every year, Ingolstadt releases an expensive new special edition of the car but changes little else. There's a lot of uncertainty around the future of Audi's only supercar, and it seems that the Volkswagen-owned brand is unwilling to commit to killing it or redesigning it just yet, presumably because developing a new version of the V10 coupe would be just as unreasonable as creating a hybrid or electric version while there's still money to be made off the R8's 5.2-liter Lamborghini Huracán-sourced engine. So the R8 follows the same recipe as before, it seems. Or does it? With the cheapest R8 now a rear-wheel-drive model with "only" 562 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque, the R8's most fun drivetrain variant is also the most affordable. The full-fat quattro model with 602 hp and 413 lb-ft is still offered with AWD security too. Something for everyone? Maybe the R8 still has some life in it after all.
This year, the entry-level RWD model gets a power and torque boost. Outputs increase from 532 hp and 398 lb-ft to 562 hp and 406 lb-ft. With the more power comes a name change for the RWD model and it adopts the same "performance" moniker as its quattro stablemate - it's now the V10 performance RWD. A new available Dynamic package adds unique 20-inch wheels, carbon-ceramic brakes, and racing seats upholstered in Nappa leather. A new Sport Exhaust package is also now available.
See trim levels and configurations:
The exterior design of the Audi R8 coupe has always been beautifully proportioned. That said, it's not a classically beautiful car, and many will say that the design has become too edgy and feels almost forced. This is mainly because of the oddly shaped front intake grilles below the LED headlights - LED and laser headlights are standard on the quattro version. Still, we do like the three little slots below the hood, and those sweeping front arches that house 20-inch wheels. At the rear, LED taillights feature along with a massive diffuser that is home to dual exhaust tips. These are chrome on the RWD version and black on the quattro model. A retractable spoiler is also included, but quattro models get a fixed wing and many carbon accents.
The dimensions of the R8 are typical for a supercar of this class, and as we've already mentioned, this is a nicely proportioned machine. It carries a length of 174.4 inches with a wheelbase measuring 104.3 inches. Height is just 48.7 inches from the ground while the width is rated at 76.4 inches excluding the side mirrors. The RWD model has a base curb weight of 3,571 pounds, but the quattro model has a higher rating of 3,638 lbs.
As standard, the base R8 can be had in Ibis White or Vegas Yellow, but if you're willing to shell out a little more, you get access to metallic hues like Florett Silver, Kemora Gray, Mythos Black, Suzuka Gray, and Tango Red. A pearl hue called Daytona Gray is also offered, but all of them carry the same surcharge of $595. If that's not extravagant enough for you, the crystal finish of Ara Blue will put a $1,075-sized dent in your checkbook, but again, even that can be outdone. Audi exclusive special colors can be mixed up at $3,900, or you can get matte exclusive special finishes for a whopping $6,800. Brake calipers are black as standard, but red is available for 700 bucks, or you can get blue calipers on the quattro model as part of a $5,200 package.
For the ultimate Audi R8 experience when it comes to flat-out performance, you'll be interested in the quattro. This model's version of the Lamborghini-shared 5.2-liter V10 churns out an incredible 602 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque - with no assistance from electric motors, or turbos, or any other form of forced induction. The results are astonishing, not least of which when it comes to aural pleasure and instantaneous throttle response. 0-60 mph is dispatched in just 3.2 seconds, and if you keep the loud pedal buried in the firewall, you'll eventually run out of puff at 205 mph. The RWD R8 isn't too bad either. It can get from 0 to 60 in just 3.6 seconds, and like its big brother tops out at over 200 mph - 204, to be exact. However, there are other differences too. The RWD R8 also gets a stiffer front anti-roll bar and more negative camber in the rear, helping it remain planted around corners. The base R8 also gets adaptive dampers so that you can live a life of duality, while the quattro model is so focused on being sharp that fixed - although surprisingly comfy - dampers are fitted here. All versions of the R8 share one thing in common though - a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Whichever version or model of the Audi R8 you get, you'll find a 5.2-liter naturally aspirated V10 residing somewhere behind your head. On the RWD model, this power plant generates 562 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. This is mated to a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission, and it's rather good at cruising along, minding its own business, shifting smoothly and nonchalantly through every gear with speed and precision. Stick it into Sport mode and the gearbox has a tendency to downshift a little too early for relaxed driving, but that's just a sign that the Sport mode really is doing what it's supposed to. Of course, if you're not happy with letting the car decide when to shift, you can easily switch to manual mode and blast your way through the gears using the paddles. And speaking of blasting, the throttle response of this engine is phenomenal, not to mention its sound. Plant your right foot and the sound will egg you on more and more, encouraging you to chase the horizon. But because of the immense power, you'll be in triple-digit speeds very quickly, even if you're in the so-called base model. On the quattro model, you get 602 horses and 413 lb-ft of twist, and the experience is even more visceral. With the same transmission fitted here, getting into trouble on the road is just as effortless as in the RWD R8.
So how does it drive? Well, depending on which model you're behind the wheel of, the answer can be quite different. On the RWD model, power goes to the rear wheels only. What does this mean? The ability to perform smokey burnouts and lurid slides with relative ease. But don't think that this is as well balanced as competitors like the Ferrari F8 Tributo or your average Porsche. Sure, it's good, but there's a purity of purpose that is missing, and one gets the feeling that this was always meant to be something else (an AWD vehicle). That said, there is a clear sharpness that is missing when you get into the quattro model. But fear not. While it sounds like we're downplaying the abilities of the R8, it's still a phenomenal machine and has a remarkable level of feel and feedback from the steering wheel, feel that is fast becoming a rare and precious commodity in the world of electric steering systems. And while the quattro model does feel a little less lively, the feeling of security provided by AWD when you have over 600 hp under your right foot cannot be overstated. In daily driving, the quattro model is a little harsher than the regular version because it doesn't have the cheaper variant's adaptive dampers, but it's not jarring or uncomfortable. Overall, this is still one of the most user-friendly and outright usable supercars on the market.
The only downside to the shrieking wail of the Audi R8's V10 is that it's not cheap to maintain. Gas mileage figures for the lighter, RWD model are naturally a little lower. The RWD version will return 14/23/17 mpg on the EPA's city/highway/combined cycles. With a 19.3-gallon gas tank, you can expect an average mixed driving range of around 328 miles. The quattro version isn't much worse though, returning 13/19/15 mpg on the same cycles, resulting in a range of around 290 miles with mixed driving.
The interior of the 2022 Audi R8 is typically classy and elegant. It's simple but with enough drama to make you feel like you're sitting somewhere special, and particularly in the quattro variant, 'special' gets turned up to 11 thanks to lashings of carbon fiber and special racing shell seats. But don't fret if you prefer the RWD model - both types of R8 get a 12.3-inch configurable driver info display that doubles as the interface for your infotainment system, and for those who desire more than the wail of a V10, an available 13-speaker B&O sound system can be had, as well as options for extended leather upholstery as well as contrast stitching for further luxury.
The Audi R8 loses practicality points to its chief competition the Porsche 911 due to the fact that it is a two-seater, but that makes it even more attractive to those who want that true supercar experience. Even in the RWD model, you get 18-way power seats as standard that offer plenty of comfort and support, and the view out as well as the general ergonomics of the seating experience are excellent. In the quattro model, you get racy bucket seats as standard that offer immense support. The only downside is that getting in and out without grazing the aggressive bolsters can be tricky.
Color options are not in short supply when it comes to the interior. Of course, you get Nappa leather as standard, but full leather costs $3,000 and contrast stitching adds a further 500 bucks. In addition, the vast majority of these options require extra packages like the Full Leather package, Premium package, and the Contrast Stitching package to be unlocked. At least the choices are vast: options include Black with stitching in Ara Blue, Express Red, Rock Gray, Vegas Yellow, or plain black. Also offered are Express Red leather with Steel Gray stitching, Palomino Brown with Steel Gray stitching, or Pastel Silver with Rock Gray stitching. For those who want a really fancy finish, quilted leather in the same combinations will set you back an extra $5,000. The quattro variant gets fewer color combos, but you do also get mixes of Fine Nappa leather and Alcantara.
Bringing things along with you for the drive is tricky, unless you're willing to use the passenger seat for a small bag. In the 'frunk', you'll find a little space for an overnight bag, but with just eight cubic feet of volume, it had better be a small bag.
In the cabin, small-item storage isn't great either. There's a small spot ahead of the gear-lever where you can put your phone and another small spot between the seats where a drink can be stored, but the door pockets are only big enough for keys. The glove compartment is also tiny, with no real space. Then again, if you can afford an R8, you probably don't care too much.
As we touched on earlier, there isn't a great number of advanced features offered with the R8. There's no forward collision alert or adaptive cruise control, but you do get regular cruise control, auto-dimming, power-folding, and heated wing mirrors, automatic high beams, adaptive dampers, a retractable rear spoiler, park assist with front and rear parking sensors, heated seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry, wireless charging, and push-button start. On the quattro variant, adaptive dampers and a retractable spoiler aren't offered, but it comes standard with LED laser headlights (optional on the RWD trim) and an Alcantara headliner. Both get a configurable driver info display measuring 12.3 inches.
Unlike most modern cars, you won't find a central screen in the R8 because everything is controlled via the steering wheel and displayed on the driver's configurable 12.3-inch display. But that doesn't mean that it's overly simple or short on the things you need. You still get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth connectivity, SiriusXM satellite radio, voice control, and navigation. Both trims have access to a punchier 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, but only in conjunction with the $5,900 Premium package on the RWD car; the quattro offers it as a standalone option for $1,900. For those who see this as a daily supercar, it's a worthwhile addition for days when, for some reason, a V10's song simply won't cut it.
Reliability is not something that you want to be worrying about when you're piloting a car capable of over 200 mph, but fortunately, there seems to be nothing to worry about on the R8. Neither this year's model nor its 2021 predecessor has been subject to a single recall thus far.
Should anything go awry, Audi covers you with a limited and a powertrain warranty, each of which is valid for the first four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first.
As with most cars in this price bracket and market, neither the IIHS nor the NHTSA has performed a crash test review on this supercar so there are no Audi R8 safety reviews for the USA. But with most of the basics covered, this shouldn't be a concern. However, if you can't see yourself buying a car without advanced driver aids, look elsewhere.
As standard, there isn't much in the way of safety equipment here beyond what is commonplace on cars that cost less than 10 percent of what the R8 does. You get your dual frontal and side-impact airbags, overhead airbags, knee airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control systems, and the obligatory rearview camera. You also get a park assist system with front and rear parking sensors, automatic high beams, and the option of LED laser headlights on the base trim, but that's where the list ends.
The Audi R8 is still one of the easiest supercars to live with on a daily basis, and if you don't know anything about the car, that statement may lead you to believe that the R8 is not quite up to the standard set by the likes of Lamborghini and Porsche. To be fair, this isn't as sharp as a 911 Turbo and doesn't have quite the same level of visual drama as a Huracán, but it remains a monstrous machine that can get to 60 mph in as little as 3.2 seconds. It can also rip up an abandoned highway at over 200 mph (not that we would condone such a thing without the proper protocols). Besides its figures on paper, it sounds brilliant, and as one of the very few V10 supercars still breathing - and on its own without turbos, no less - one cannot understate its importance to aficionados of wailing crescendos. But most attractive of all is the fact that this is a supercar that, for better or worse, carries an Audi badge and drives like one in many ways. It's comfortable, warms your butt on cold days, and is easy to get familiar with. Being able to see out of it with relative ease is another plus point. Basically, this is more than a cut-rate Lambo. This is a car all its own, one that just so happens to be exotic yet remains down to earth. Want one? We do.
The cheapest model of the R8 is the base version, which starts at a cost of $148,700 before you pay the $1,495 destination charge. The most expensive model you can have is the quattro model with its base asking price of $199,800. Fully loaded with options, the Audi R8 price can reach around $220,000.
The 2022 Audi R8 lineup is now offered in two derivatives, the V10 performance RWD S tronic and the V10 performance quattro S tronic. Both make use of a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, but the RWD car drives the rear wheels only, while the quattro has all-wheel drive. Both cars use a 5.2-liter naturally aspirated V10 engine, but power and torque in the RWD are 562 hp and 406 lb-ft respectively, while these outputs increase to 602 hp and 413 lb-ft in the quattro model.
The RWD is equipped as standard with 20-inch alloy wheels, a retractable rear spoiler, LED headlights, LED tail lights with dynamic turn signals, and adaptive damping. Inside, it gets Nappa leather upholstery, 18-way electrically adjustable and heated seats, LED ambient interior lighting, keyless entry, and dual-zone climate control. The 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster doubles as an infotainment display and the system supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, voice control, Bluetooth, and SiriusXM. Standard safety tech includes eight airbags, park sensors front and rear, and automatic high beams.
The quattro model loses the retractable rear spoiler and exchanges it for a fixed carbon-fiber wing; it also gets a black-tipped sports exhaust, LED headlights with Audi laser light, fixed-rate sport suspension, a Titanium front lip spoiler, rocker-sill inlay, and rear exhaust surround, carbon-ceramic brakes, and a different style of 20-inch alloy wheel. Inside, it gains an Alcantara headliner, the extended leather package, bucket seats, carbon inlays, and illuminated carbon-fiber door sills. It also gains access to more options, such as a carbon-fiber anti-roll bar. An upgraded Bang & Olufsen audio system can be specified on both cars.
The R8 quattro model is particularly well specced, but you can still add the R8 Performance Design package for $5,200. This gives you a mix of leather and Alcantara on the racing shell seats, an Alcantara-clad steering wheel with Mercato Blue stitching to match its new floor mats and shift lever. You also get blue brake calipers for the complete theme. This model has further access to a carbon fiber front sway bar at $1,100, while the 13-speaker B&O audio upgrade costs $1,900. If you don't want AWD but do like carbon fiber, the RWD model can be equipped with the Carbon Interior package for $3,400, adding additional carbon inlays to the cabin. The Premium package is more expensive at $5,900 thanks to its B&O sound system, extended leather sub-package, illuminated door sill inlays, and Alcantara headliner. New for 2022 is the $12,900 Dynamic package that adds carbon-ceramic brakes, a different style of 20-inch wheel, and racing shell seats. The other new package is the $3,600 Sport Exhaust package that adds a Sport exhaust with black tips, a Sport steering wheel, and a Performance mode to the Audi Drive Select system. How much more you want to add is up to you and your bank balance.
This choice will depend on the kind of driver you and what kind of features you want from your car. If you seek ultimate performance, then the quattro model is certainly the one to have. With AWD and over 600 horses on tap, this is the fastest and quickest R8, but for those who are happy with a top speed of 204 mph, the regular R8 RWD is the one we recommend. Not only can this one be even more fun when you get it sideways, but it also comes with adaptive dampers as standard - something that you can't have on the quattro model. With a lower price to boot, it's definitely our pick, but take both for a test drive to see where you're most comfortable.
Following on from the Black Series version of the AMG GT taking the Nürburgring record in 2020, the regular GT is getting a lot more attention from those who would never have otherwise considered it. Okay, it's not as powerful as the Black Series, but the regular GT is still plenty strong enough. Its 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 develops 523 hp and 494 lb-ft of torque, but with a more traditional front-engine layout, it's got a reasonable trunk too. The interior also follows a more common theme with its central infotainment screen. However, much like the R8, advanced features - whether for safety or convenience - are in short supply. With power only ever going to the rear wheels, this is also a supercar not recommended for those with little confidence behind the wheel. But if you're into a more old-school vibe, the Merc is where it's at.
The Porsche 911 has been the everyday supercar since anyone could remember and the latest iteration does not put a foot wrong. The 911 Turbo is a devastatingly effective device and is priced halfway between the RWD and quattro R8s. It represents a totally different approach with its twin-turbocharged flat-six engine and towering performance. Even the normal Turbo slashes half a second off the R8 quattro's 0-60 mph time. It is also more practical, with more luggage space and tiny rear seats suitable for small children. However, it does not offer the emotion of the Audi's high-revving naturally aspirated V10. There is nothing to touch the RWD R8 for raw driving appeal, fun, and excitement at the price and it would be the default choice for the hardcore enthusiast who want to hang out the tail on track days. At the $200k level, though, the Porker does offer far better value, practicality, and performance than the R8 quattro and the ageing Audi offers a less compelling argument against the superbly competent and far newer Porsche.
The most popular competitors of 2022 Audi R8 Coupe: